Author: Cat Patrick
Release Date: May 7th 2013
Rating: 4 stars
Summary: 17-year-olds Lizzie, Ella, and Betsey Best grew up as identical triplets... until they discovered a shocking family secret. They're actually closer than sisters, they're clones. Hiding from a government agency that would expose them, the Best family appears to consist of a single mother with one daughter named Elizabeth. Lizzie, Ella, and Betsey take turns going to school, attending social engagements, and a group mindset has always been a de facto part of life...
Then Lizzie meets Sean Kelly, a guy who seems to see into her very soul. As their relationship develops, Lizzie realizes that she's not a carbon copy of her sisters; she's an individual with unique dreams and desires, and digging deeper into her background, Lizzie begins to dismantle the delicate balance of an unusual family that only science could have created.
Cat Patrick's debut novel, Forgotten, is one of my favorite YA books. Her second novel, Revival, is one of my least favorite YA books. I was very curious to see how this one turned out.
To clear a couple things up, (the summary was a little misleading to me.) Two things. One: there's the secret that the girls are actually clones, I figured finding this out is probably the plot of the book. Well, it's not because they have known this for ten years, so it was confusing for a couple chapters. Number two is that they're all seventeen years old. First lines of the summary. Ah, no they are not. They're sixteen and three quarters, even according to them. They all point it out to their mom like four times, so why doesn't the back cover say sixteen?? I tend to skip over books with significantly younger protagonists than I, so this was disappointing. Were they trying to sell the books to an older audience? Doesn't make sense because the entire book is extremely PG. I think they should change it before actual publication.
I'm done complaining. Good stuff now!
Clones (sisters?) Ella, Betsy, and Lizzy all play one person, Elizabeth, to the outside world. They split up the day and switch out depending on the classes, because they're hiding from someone who may know about their illegal existence. This is a WEIRD concept. (Cat likes these "WEIRD concepts" in her books, I've noticed. :)) Their mother is super overprotective and OCD, completely paranoid they'll be discovered. This is normal life for Lizzy (the book is in her POV) but when she meets this guy and they become close, he sort of puts a mirror up and she realizes how strange and limiting her life really is.
The main plot of The Originals is the girls figuring out their past isn't really what they thought it to be, and the sub-plot is two of the three girls are pining after different guys at school, and...well there is only one Elizabeth. An interesting story ensues.
Even though it's a high school novel/setting, it's less off-putting because it's not overly expanded, so no bitchy cheerleader girlfriend or stupid football players. It's toned down so school cliques aren't the focus, which is a nice difference. Because in Revived that aspect REALLY annoyed me. There were shallow characters and...I'm getting off topic, so just go look up my mean review of Revived...
Overall The Originals is a pretty great book. There isn't anything outstanding about it in my eyes, but I did enjoy it. If you need a quick (one-day) read that's mainly contemporary with a little bit of scientific meddling, definitely pick this one up. For already Cat Patrick fans like me, you won't be disappointed.
My review of Forgotten, and my review of Revived.